Smoky River Fire and Rescue is to get a new $2.7 million fire hall in Falher this year, with construction set to start in May and the majority of work to be finished by December.
“Structurally, it’s being built to last 50 years or more,” says Kevin Cymbaluk, the director of operations for the M.D. of Smoky River No. 130 in Falher.
“We’ve exceeded the life of the Falher fire hall. It’s outdated and undersized.”
The new regional fire hall will be located on a 4.5-acre property southwest of the administration building.
The fire departments in Donnelly and McLennan will retain all of their service vehicles and equipment; they will not be transferred to the new hall.
Those fire departments are under the authority of Smoky River Fire and Rescue.
The new hall will consist of a two-story, 14,000-square-foot layout, with eight service bays which are for drive-thru. It will also feature 40-by-90 foot apron pads at the front and rear, as well as an all-metal roof and cladding stone trim. Solar power is being considered.
Firefighters will have access to a training room, wash bay and hose tower. Eventually, the building will have an emergency operations centre, which is currently located in the council chamber.
A helicopter site will be located at the northwest corner of the property to accommodate STARS. However, it will not be a designated heliport.
The M.D. has a bylaw to borrow up to $2 million for construction, says CAO Rita Therriault.
GVN Structures Inc. of Redcliff is the main contractor for construction, although local contractors and labour will be used for some of the work.
Smoky River fire chief Marcel Maure says the new hall will be a great facility and the 40 volunteer firefighters are looking forward to using it.
The M.D council will hold a sod turning ceremony in May.
The blueprints and schematics for the new fire hall can be viewed at the M.D. office during regular business hours.